In her debut cookbook The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook: Wholesome, Indulgent Plant-Based Recipes, Nisha Vora, the popular food blogger, photographer and content creator at Rainbow Plant Life, shows how to quickly put together delicious and nutritious dinners in an instant pot pressure cooker. A proponent of exciting, beautiful and tasty vegan cuisine, Vora, a graduate of Harvard Law School, left her law career behind and created Rainbow Plant Life, a vegan Instagram account, blog, and YouTube channel. Her colorful and easy-to-use cookbook features 90+ vegan and wholesome recipes made in the Instant Pot. Vora also includes:
- Plenty of gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, and refined-sugar-free recipes (80-85% of recipes are gluten-free)
- An in-depth guide to using your Instant Pot, including troubleshooting tips and cook time charts
- My vegan pantry staples and essential cooking tips
- Full color design with my signature vibrant food photography
- A little wit and humor peppered in between detailed, step-by-step recipes
Here are a few recipes from the book.
Instant Pot Vegan Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
12 ounces dried rice noodles, dried rice sticks, or banh pho*
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other neutral, high-heat cooking oil
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and halved
4-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
3 cardamom pods, lightly smashed with the back of a knife
3 whole star anise pods
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 Fuji apple, peeled and cut into large chunks
1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps (5 to 6 ounces)
8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (you can substitute water for up to 4 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 (6- or 8-ounce) block baked tofu, cut into cubes (I used a five-spice flavor, which went really well with the other flavors)
3 scallions, sliced on the diagonal
1 cup Thai basil leaves, torn up
1 cup cilantro leaves, torn up
2 limes, cut into wedges
2 cups bean sprouts
Thinly sliced hot chile peppers or Sriracha
*You can find pho noodles in well-stocked grocery stores or any Asian market. They come in various thickness, ranging from 1⁄16 inch (narrow) to 1⁄4 inch (wide).
Place the dried rice noodles in a large bowl, cover with warm water, and soak until the noodles are pliable and opaque, 30 to 45 minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse them to remove excess starch. (Alternatively, cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package.)
Meanwhile, prepare the Broth: Select the Sauté́ setting on the Instant Pot and, after a few minutes, add the oil. Once the display reads “HOT,” add the onions and ginger slices, cut side down. Do not toss and allow to cook until charred and deeply browned, about 4 minutes.
Add the whole spices (cardamom pods through black peppercorns) and cook for 1 minute, stirring the mixture frequently. Add the apple, cilantro, tamari, coconut sugar, and shiitakes. Pour the vegetable broth and/or water on top and stir to combine.
Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 15 minutes.
Once the 15-minute timer has completed and beeps, allow a natural pressure release for
10 minutes and then switch the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting to release any remaining steam.
Open the pot and, using oven mitts, remove the inner pot. Carefully strain the broth into a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl (discard the solids). Season the broth with 1 teaspoon salt, stir, and taste. Add more salt as needed.
Place the cooked rice noodles in individual bowls. Pour over the strained broth and add the baked tofu cubes. Top the pho with the scallions, basil, cilantro, lime wedges, bean sprouts, and chiles or Sriracha.
Chinese Takeout-Style Tofu and Broccoli
1 (14-ounce) block extra-firm tofu
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons Sriracha or similar chili-garlic sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons rice vinegar (also known as rice wine vinegar)
1⁄4 cup reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
1⁄4 cup agave nectar or coconut nectar (or maple syrup, but that will have a more robust, less neutral flavor)
2 tablespoons water
1 1⁄2 tablespoons Sriracha or similar chili-garlic sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 1⁄2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
1 1⁄2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other neutral, high-heat cooking oil
2 medium heads broccoli, cut into small florets (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
White rice or brown rice (for serving)
Marinate the tofu: Drain the tofu and cut into 4 slabs. Place the tofu on a cutting board lined with paper towels. Place more paper towels on top of the tofu and weight them down with a few heavy cookbooks or a heavy skillet filled with a few cans of beans. Let sit for at least 30 minutes or ideally 1 hour, changing the paper towels in between to drain all the moisture. Cut the tofu into 3⁄4-inch cubes.
Place the tofu in a gallon-size zip-top bag and add the tamari, Sriracha, sesame oil, and vinegar. Toss to combine and let the tofu rest in the marinade for 5 minutes, massaging occasionally.
Meanwhile, make the ginger-chili sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the tamari, agave nectar, water, the Sriracha, sesame oil, vinegar, and ginger until well combined.
Finish the dish: Select the Sauté́ setting on the Instant Pot and let the pot heat up for a few minutes before adding the grapeseed oil. Once the display reads “HOT,” use a slotted spoon or fork to carefully transfer the marinated tofu to the pot. Cook the tofu for 1 1⁄2 minutes undisturbed. Use a spatula to flip and cook the tofu until it starts to brown on all sides, 3 to
4 minutes total. Add the ginger-chili sauce and stir to combine. Select the Cancel setting.
Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 3 minutes.
Once the 3-minute timer has completed and beeps, perform a quick pressure release by carefully switching the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting.
Open the pot. Add the broccoli florets to the tofu and stir with the sauce to combine. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting to low pressure and set the cook time to 1 minute. Once the 1-minute timer has completed and beeps, carefully perform another quick pressure release.
In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch with 1⁄4 cup water, whisking until combined without any lumps. Select the Sauté́ setting and press the Sauté́ button again until you reach Less heat. Add the cornstarch slurry to the Instant Pot and gently stir to combine. Cook, stirring gently, until the sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve the tofu and broccoli over rice.
What: Nisha Vora A Talk & Demo with Nisha Vora
When: Sunday, July 21 at 2 to 4 p.m.
Where: Read It and Eat, 2142 N Halsted St., Chicago, IL
Cost: 1 Ticket + 1 Book $44.26; 2 Tickets + 1 Book $64.26; Book Only
FYI: (773) 661-6158; readitandeatstore.com